Lemonade Stand Challenge raises $30K for home that would support Central Texas children awaiting foster care placement

Lemonade Stand Challenge
Lemonade Stand Challenge(Courtesy Photo)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 4:41 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A non profit on a mission to build a home for children awaiting foster care placement in Central Texas got a $30,000 boost over the weekend, one cup of lemonade at a time.

Isaiah 117, which was founded in Tennessee, is working to build a home in McLennan County which would provide physical and emotional support in a safe and loving home for children awaiting foster care placement.

Over the weekend, volunteers participated in a Lemonade Stand Challenge Weekend to raise awareness and money. The community response was incredible.

Nearly 40 stands went up in Gatesville, Lorena, and China Spring to Riesel, Valley Mills, Waco, and everywhere in between.

Lemonade Stand Challenge in Waco, Texas
Lemonade Stand Challenge in Waco, Texas(Courtesy Photo)

“We had over 35 lemonade stands run by volunteers for Isaiah 117 house which was incredible,” said Ashlea Kersey, lemonade stand committee co-chair.  “There is a lot to do and we’re so thankful to our community for rallying around this cause.”

Jennifer Villalpando is the program coordinator for McLennan County.  She said the lemonade stands were a fun way for families, businesses and Individuals to get involved while supporting a very serious mission.

“The idea behind the Isaiah 117 House lemonade stand challenge weekend is to bring awareness to our community about the need for an Isaiah 117 House and what we do,” she said.

“So, we are a safe and loving home that provides physical and emotional support for children who are awaiting placement.  We want to be there to reduce trauma for the child.   We want to support the case workers and CPS staff that are doing a really difficult job and we also want to ease the transition for the future placement which could be a family member or a foster family in our community.”

Lemonade Stand Challenge in Central Texas
Lemonade Stand Challenge in Central Texas(Courtesy Photos)

Stacey Wensil, local advisory team member,  said many people made the weekend a success, including Pop’s Lemonade in Waco who donated over a dozen galloons of lemonade and also set up shop in the parking lot of Camille Johnson Relators and the Waco Farmer’s Market to sell lemonade and donate proceeds.

Pop’s also delivered lemonade Monday to CPS case workers.

Wensil says this financial shot in the arm will help with costs as the group finalizes where the home will be built.

They’ve found a land donor but are waiting to make sure details work out and if they do they hope to break ground in the fall.

McLennan and Dallas counties will be the first Isaiah 117 houses in the state of Texas.

If you want to get involved the local group of volunteers meets the second Sunday of every month at 1:30 p.m. at Start Up Waco on Austin Avenue.

The nonprofit’s name comes from Isaiah 1:17 which says to “defend the cause of the fatherless.”

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